Trains: Mighty Metaphors for Mission and Ministry in Motion
A guest post from Reaching Rural America for Christ, a newsletter published by the LCMS Rural and Small Town Mission.
By Reverend Todd Kollbaum
Trains. From the mighty moving engines to the varied freight cars being towed along—flat cars, auto carriers, tank cars, box cars, hopper cars, gondolas, and more—trains are a key part of rural America's story. Like you, I have watched them pass, mesmerized by their remarkable variety and thinking of a mile of metal in motion.
Why are we talking about trains? Think about your congregation. Have you ever imagined it as a train? One car is for your ladies' group. Another is your congregational dinners and suppers. Another is your confirmation program. Still, another is your Sunday school, older adult ministry, or homebound ministry. Each "car" makes up a key part of the larger train, your mission, and ministry in motion. And it's amazing!
But how many people in your congregation appreciate all the "cars"? How many are even aware of the amazing mission and ministry in motion? Shouldn't they know? Shouldn't each "car" be celebrated for its place in the mission and ministry of your church? And shouldn't everyone be invited to participate?
I think so, and I hope you do, too! So, how are we going to do it? How are we going to help our congregation see and celebrate (and participate!) in the mission and ministry? We need to show and tell them what's happening! They needed to see the train.
With welcoming and informative publications like our weekly bulletin announcements and our monthly newsletter, we strive to keep you informed, showing, telling, and celebrating God's magnificent mission and ministry in motion among you! Please take the time to read these.
Please feel free to step up when you know of a need within our mission and ministry and would like to help fulfill it. You can volunteer to be a Sunday School teacher, a VBS helper, serve on a board or committee, make a reception salad or dessert, visit a shut-in, greet a visitor, help on clean-up and fix-it days by raking leaves, washing windows, or chairs, changing light bulbs, and more. Look for ways that you can help our mission and ministry in motion stay on track and move forward full steam ahead.
"Train up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it."
"In your mercy, strengthen us in faith toward you and fervent love toward one another; through Jesus Christ, your Son, our Lord."
Post-Communion collect, Divine Service, Lutheran Service Book